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CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF LITERATURE
2.1 DEFINING MARKET POTENTIAL Market or sales potential must be stated for a given product or group of product for a given area for a given period of time, usually a year. Market potential is the total sales volume that all organization selling during a stated time period in a specific market could expect to achieve under ideal conditions. A market potential indicates how much of a particular product can be said to a particular market segment over some future period. The term potential refer to a maximum level of sales and assumes that all the marketing plans are sound and effecting implemented and all prospective customer with the desire and ability to buy do so.

2.1.1 Analyzing market potential The important steps in analyzing the market potential are 1.Market identification The first step in analyzing a products market potential is to identify its market identification requires finding out a. Who buy the products? b. Who uses it of? c. Who are the prospective buyers and/or users?

2.Market motivation The second step in analyzing market potential is to detect the reasons why customers buy the product and the reasons why potential customers might buy it. Market motivation studies answers the twins questions. Why do people buy and why dont people buy? most explaining the buyer behavior of ultimate customers rather than industrial users. The information from motivation studies helps not only estimating a products market potential but also assist in deciding. a. How best to present the products in sale talk b. The relative effectiveness at different selling appeals

c. The appropriateness of various promotional methods 3.Analysis of market potential. Having identified the potential buyers and their buying behavior their step is to analyze the market potential generally market potential cannot be analyses directly. So an analysis makes use of market factors. A market factor is a market potential. It is a twostepped process. a) Select the market factors associated with the product demand b) Eliminating those market segments that do not contain prospective buyer at the product. Market potential analysis is a strategic tool to identify market opportunities and invest resources where they will have the greatest return in the long run. Market potential analysis enables companies to: Categorize countries as lead markets, breakout markets or emerging markets. Quantify market potential for a given product by country, region or globally, now and in the future Identify growth drivers and barriers in those markets. Understand how to exploit growth markets by tailoring marketing; product development and production strategies to meet customer demands and overcome market barriers.

2.2 MARKET POTENTIAL INFLUENCERS Many forces influence market potential, but there are two broad sets of factors that are key: Demand Drivers and Inhibitors (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Demand drivers for product

2.2.1 Demand Drivers Demand drivers are the factors that affect the size, readiness or exploitability of markets. Three are especially important. The first is the size and wealth of a market. This determines the number of households, companies, government agencies and other organizations that can actually afford to buy a product. This is not a simple calculation, and average figures such as total population and GDP per capita offer only a starting point. Other factors include household income distribution and the structure of the business sector. Much of the value of market potential analysis comes in calculating accurately the number of potential customers there are for a given product. The second is the utility of a product in a particular market. This varies according to the nature of the product and the characteristics of the market. For instance, if you are selling an English-only online service, the number of people who speak English in a given market will determine the value of the service. Similarly, if you are selling PCs for small businesses, the value of the systems will depend on how easily they can be networked and communicate internally. The third demand driver is the supporting infrastructure for a product. Frozen foods require refrigerators, and refrigerators require electricity, so the demand for frozen foods is dependent on the presence of reliable, affordable electrical power. For information and communication products, the necessary infrastructure can include

telephone lines, satellite uplinks, and human resources such as skilled programmers, technicians and users. The quality of infrastructure generally corresponds to national wealth, but there are significant differences among countries at similar levels of wealth.

2.2.2 Demand Inhibitors

Market potential in a given country can appear to be high, but actual demand remains low. This is usually due to the presence of demand inhibitors that either raise the cost or lower the utility of a product. An obvious example is a tax or tariff, which increases the price to final customers. Quotas and other trade barriers have the same effect. Some inhibitors such as tariffs are explicit and can be quantified, while others are less visible and can only be identified through in depth knowledge of a country. For example, the business model of companies, management culture, and labor environment (e.g., lifetime employment, strong unions) can inhibit demand.

Benefits of Market Potential Analysis Understand market potential for a single store, network of stores or a new market

Deploy resources effectively by ranking markets in priority order Forecast total opportunity in terms of number of customers and revenue potential Estimate your market share

Market Potential Example


Let's say you sell reverse mortgages and your ideal customer is 65 years of age or older and owns a home valued at $150,000 or higher. If you don't already know this about your customers, our customer profiling services can help you discover it. Mapping Analytics will then perform market potential analysis using market data, demographics and/or lifestyle clustering sytems to find areas where high concentrations of your ideal customer live. From there, it's ranking the potential markets and deploying resources by selecting locations of branches or performing targeted direct marketing. What's the market potential for your products and services? Talk to us and we'll help you find out.

Scope of study: Any expansion into new markets, strategic reorientation or introduction of new products and services requires an examination of opportunities and sales potential. Provide a solid basis for strategic decisions and protect your investments with a reliable analysis of key indicators and future developments and thus where market opportunities are knocking. Trendscope supports your efforts with scientifically-based market and competition analyses, as personalised as your company and your market is unique:

Overall size and segmentation of the target market (Market volume, identifying attractive submarkets, geographic and cultural differences) Competitor analysis (Competitive structure and positioning, company profiles, market shares, SWOT analyses) Target group analysis (Customer structure, customer behaviour, purchase criteria, openness to new suppliers) Target market potential (Potential competitors, barriers to market entry, future trends and developments)

THEORETICAL ASPECTS OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Satisfaction is the level of a persons felt state resulting from comparing a product perceived performance (or outcome) in relation to person's expectations. Thus the satisfaction level is a function of the difference between perceived performance and expectations. A customer could experience one of the three broad levels of satisfaction. If the performance falls below the expectation, the customer is dissatisfied. If the performance matches the expectations, the customer is satisfied. If the performance exceeds the expectations, the customer is highly satisfied, pleased or delighted. But how the buyers form their expectations? Expectations are formed on the basis of the buyers past buying experience; statements are made by friends and associates, marketer, competitor information and promise. If the marketer raises expectations too high, the buyer likely to be disappointed if the company fails to deliver. On the other hand, if the company sets expectations too low, it want attract enough buyers although it will satisfy those who buy. Marketing concept describes how companies can track customer satisfaction. For customer-centered companies, customer satisfaction is both a goal and a marketing tool. Companies that achieve high customer satisfaction are both a goal and a marketing tool. Companies that achieve high customer satisfaction ratings make sure that their target market knows it.

Customer:

Customer is defined as anyone who receives that which is produced by the individual or organization that has value. Customer expectations are continuously increasing. Customers seek out

products and producers that are best able to satisfy their requirements. A product does not need to be rated highest by customers on all dimensions, only on those they think are important.

Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. It is seen as a key performance indicator within business. Dissatisfaction------------- Perception <Expectations Customer satisfaction-----Perception = Expectations Delight---------------------- Perception > Expectations Customer satisfaction is an ambiguous and abstract concept and the actual manifestation of the state of satisfaction will vary from person to person and product/service to product/service. The state of satisfaction depends on a number of both psychological and physical variables which correlate with satisfaction behaviors such as return and recommend rate. The level of satisfaction can also vary depending on other options the customer may have and other products against which the customer can compare the organization's products.

IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: Exceptional customer service results in greater customer retention, which in turn results in higher profitability. Customer loyalty is a major contributor to sustainable profit growth. To achieve success, a company must make superior service second nature of the organization. A seamless integration of all components in the service-profit chain employee satisfaction, value creation, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profit and growth links all the critical dynamics of top customer service. Satisfying the customer is a race without finish." Vernon Zelmer

Many companies forget that satisfying customer needs and continuous value innovation is the only path to sustainable growth. This creates opportunities for new, smaller companies to emulate and improve upon what made their bigger competitors successful in the first place and steal their customers. 1. It costs between five and six times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. 2. Companies can boost profits anywhere from 25 to 125% by retaining merely 5% more existing customers. 3. Only one out of 25 dissatisfied customers will express dissatisfaction. 4. Happy customers tell 4 to 5 others of their positive experience. Dissatisfied customers tell 9 to 12 how bad it was. 5. Two-thirds of customers do not feel valued by those serving them.

MARKETING MANAGEMENT It is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of goods, services and ideas to create exchanges with target groups that satisfy customer and organizational objectives. This definition recognize that marketing management is the process involving analysis, planning, implementation and control; that it covers goods, services and idea; that it rests on the notion of exchange; and the goal is produce satisfaction for the parties involved. Marketing management can occur in an organization n connection with any of its market. Consider an automobile manufacture, the manager of personnel deals in the labour market, the manager of purchasing, the raw materials market and manager of finance, the money market. They must set objectives and strategies for achieving satisfactory results in these markets. Marketing works in the customer market is formally carried out by sales managers, sales people, advertising and promotion managers, Marketing researchers, custom service managers, product and brand managers, market and industry managers, and the Marketing vice-president.

Each job carries well defined task and responsibilities. Marketing manager cope with these tasks by carrying out Marketing research, planning, implementation and control.

INTRODUCTION TO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Customer satisfaction is one of the main objectives of any organization. Every organization tries to know the customer satisfaction about their products. So a study on customer satisfaction helps the organization as well as me to gain a vast knowledge over the real world tastes and preferences of customer

Whether the buyer is satisfied after purchase depends on the offers performance in relation to the buyers expectations. In general satisfaction is a persons feelings of pleasure or disappointment resulting from comparing a products perceived performance in relation to his or her expectations.

As this definition makes clear, satisfaction is a function of perceived performance and expectations. If the performance falls short of expectations, the customer is dissatisfied. If the performance matches the expectations, the customer is satisfied. If the performance exceeds expectations, the customer is highly satisfied or delighted.

Many companies are aiming for high satisfaction because customers who are just satisfied still find it easy to switch when a better offer comes along. Those who are highly satisfied are much less ready to switch. High satisfaction or delight creates an emotional bond with the brand, not just a rational preference. The result is high customer loyalty. Xeroxs senior management believes that a very satisfied or delighted customer is worth 10 times as much to

the company as a satisfied customer. A very satisfied customer is likely to stay with Xerox many more years and buy more than a satisfied customer will.

How do buyers form their expectations? From past buying experience, friends and associates advice and marketers and competitors information and promises. If marketers raise expectations too high, the buyer is likely to be disappointed, For example, Holiday Inn ran a campaign a few years ago called No Surprises Yet hotel guests still encountered a host of problems, and Holiday Inn had to withdraw the campaign. However, if the company sets expectations too low, it wont attract enough buyers (although it will satisfy those who do buy).

Some of todays most successful companies are raising expectations and delivering performances to match. These companies are aiming for TCS- total customer satisfaction. Xerox for example, guarantees total satisfaction and will replace at its expense any dis satisfied customers equipment within a period of three years after purchase. Cigna advertises Well never be 100% satisfied until you are, too. And one of Hondas ads says: One reason our customers are so satisfied is that we arent. Nissan invites potential infinity buyers to drop in for a guest drive (not a test drive) because the Japanese word for customer is honored guest. Look at what high satisfaction can do Saturn In the late 1980s, Saturn (General Motors newest car division) changed the whole buyer seller relationship with a New Deal for car buyers There would be a fixed price (none of the traditional haggling); a 30-day guarantee or money back; salespeople on salary, not on commission (none of the traditional hard sell). Once a sale is made, the sales staff surrounds the new owner for commemorative photo, with everyone smiling. The companys fifth

anniversary celebration at the Tennessee headquarters was attended by more than 4000 Saturn from all across the country. Said

Saturns president Saturn is more than a car its a whole new way of doing things, of working with our customers and with one another.

A customers decision to be loyal or to defect is the sum of many small encounters with the company. Consulting firm Forum Corporation says that in order for all these small encounters to add up to customer loyalty, companies need to create a branded customer experience. Heres how Canadian Pacific Hotels, a chain with 27 properties, did just that. 1.2.1 Assuring Customer Satisfaction: "Those who enter to buy, support me. Those who come to flatter, please me. Those who complain, teach me how I may please others so that more will come. Only those who hurt me are displeased but do not complain. They refuse me permission to correct my errors and thus improve my service." - Marshall Field.

The attitude of the professional is summed up in this statement. It establishes the customer as the person to whom you are responsible. Customers support you; therefore, they deserve VIP treatment.

When your customers are happy, you are happy. When they complain, you are unhappy, but you examine the complaint calmly and see it as an opportunity to learn as well as satisfy their needs. The quote echoes the fear that customers will not vocalize their dissatisfaction, but instead take their business elsewhere.

In the old days, It used to be, "The Sale Begins When the Customer Says...NO," but that's a totally Inappropriate attitude to embrace in today's customer-driven business environment.

1.2.2 Keeping Your Customers Happy Since your first concern is customer satisfaction you should be aware of some emotional stumbling blocks in your path: selective perception, user error and buyer's remorse.

Selective perception is the process in which a person sees only selected details from the entire picture. This attention to detail is sometimes petty. For example, a customer may have a new copying machine that works like a charm, but he is irritated by the sound of the motor. He focuses only on what is wrong rather than what is right.

This occurs because buyers expect their purchases to be perfect. Regardless of the purchase price, they figure that for what they spent, they deserve perfection. When you encounter someone who practices selective perception, evaluate the situation to determine if the complaint is reasonable or exaggerated.

If it is exaggerated, try to resolve the problem by pointing out benefits and features that compensate. Put the negative detail in a different perspective for your client so that it becomes one small part of the total picture.

Many sales involve the installation of a new system or piece of equipment, and the buyer or their employees must be trained to use it. Their successful use of the equipment depends upon the effectiveness of the training, and it is imperative that the salesperson follows through after the training period to make sure the client uses the purchase properly.

It is not uncommon for people to forget 75 percent of what they hear after two days. This can cause "user error", which will significantly affect the outcome of your test and may prevent your client from reaching his success criteria.

Often a client will be unhappy about a purchase and not realize that it is due to improper operation. The more complex something is, the more training it requires using it properly. In the interest of implementing the product quickly, users may settle for incomplete training or become sloppy in their application of good training. In any case, look for user error whenever a success criterion is not reached.

"Buyer's remorse" refers to the regret that a buyer feels after making a purchase. It could be caused by selective perception, user error, or the client's error. Whatever the reason, the full benefits of the product are not realized.

Buyer's remorse can also be caused by the economics of the purchase: until the benefits prove themselves to be cost effective, a buyer regrets having made the purchase. It is the

responsibility of the salesperson to assuage these fears by assuring the client that his investment is wise and sound. Reiterate some of the selling points that convinced him to buy it originally, present data, and put him at ease.

1.2.3 Handling Customer Complaints Whether your customer's complaint is legitimate or not, follow it up with a service call. Whenever possible, do it personally instead of sending someone from the customer service department. It provides the personal service that your customer appreciates and it may obviate the need for a technician or serviceman to call. As an alternative, both of you can go together to handle customer complaints. Keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. Don't procrastinate making the call. Often the problem is not as serious as it sounds. Some customers "read the riot act" when they call about a complaint. A delay in responding will only irritate your client more. 2. Admit mistakes and apologize.

Just because you made the sale does not mean you can become defensive about your company, product or service. Even the most reputable companies make mistakes and have problems with their products. You may want to restate the customer's complaint to show that you are listening and have an understanding of the problem.

3. Show compassion for your customer. Whether the complaint proves to be true or false, show your customer that you are concerned and will investigate the problem immediately. Help the customer calm down by saying, "I can understand why you feel the way you do."

4. Actively listen to your customer's complaint. Talking will make him feel less anxious about it. Let your customer "vent" his feelings before you react to the situation. Be sympathetic and encourage the customer to "blow up." Afterward, he'll feel better; this means he'll be in a better frame of mind.

5. Don't pass the buck to your company or someone else within it. This may take the blame off you, but it undermines the integrity and organization of the company, and your customer will lose confidence in your firm. 1.2.4 Maintaining Customer Satisfaction The philosophy behind maintaining your customers is simple; now that you have them, maintain them. When you consider the amount of time and money invested in them, you cannot afford to lose them. This investment goes beyond your personal expenditures.

It also includes your firm's advertising and marketing costs to reach that particular market segment. Your customers, therefore, should be treated as if the life of your business depended on them - which it does!

1.2.5 15 Ways to Keep Your Customer Satisfied 1. Show them that you think of them.

Send them helpful newspaper clippings or articles, cartoons related to their business and "Here's an idea I thought you'd enjoy" notes. Send your clients Christmas/New Year's cards, birthday cards, and thank you notes. 2. Drop by to show them new products and brochures and offer additional services. Always make an appointment before making your call! Respect your clients' time as you do your own. 3. Offer a sample gift to enhance the use of your product. See how they are utilizing your product or service and suggest other ways that they can benefit from it. They may not be realizing its full potential. 4. Offer "customer discounts" on new products or services to encourage additional business. 5. When new employees are hired, offer to train them free of charge in the use of your product. 6. Repay or compensate them for lost time or money caused by problems encountered with your product. If you pinch pennies, your customer may do the same. 7. Be personal. Record details about your client's life and enter these in your file. It's so much nicer to say to someone, "How is Bob?" rather than, "How's your husband?" 8. Tell the truth. Lies have a way of coming back to haunt you. 9. Accept returns without batting an eyelash. In the long run, they are much less expensive than finding a new customer.

10.Be ethical. Keep all your information about the account confidential.

11. Be certain that your company follows through on its commitment. This includes delivery, installation, packaging, and so on. 12. Show your appreciation for their referrals by reporting back to them on the outcome. 13. If your company has a newsletter, obtain permission from your successful clients to write about them in it.

14. Keep track of their results with your product and meet periodically to review the entire picture (their business, industry, trends, competition, etc.) 15. Keep the lines of communication forever open. As in any relationship, you must be able to exchange grievances, ideas praises, losses, and victories. What all of this comes down to is that you should be willing to "go the extra mile" for your accounts. They extra effort you expend now will be repaid handsomely in the future. The bottom line in maintaining your clients is service, service and more service. Be there for your customers and they'll want to stick with you. If you meet their needs, they'll think twice before switching to another company, even if they've voiced some serious concerns. "Make new clients, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold." Develop the "gold" you have and the silver may take care of itself.

1.2.6 Customer satisfaction measurement:

In the final phase of the project, research findings will be used to build a model of customer satisfaction management for each customer segment. Ultimately, QIC will be able to give its members an objective measurement of the industry's quality as perceived by the customer. That overall index will serve as a benchmark on the state of quality for the P/C industry. Members will also be able to use this information to determine which areas of product and service performance have the greatest impact on overall quality, and will be able to target improvement efforts in an informed and efficient manner. For the first time, the industry as a whole will have addressed customer-perceived value, as other sectors of the U.S. economy have done. "Voice of the system" preliminary research results

Surveys and in-depth interviews with industry leaders revealed general agreement that the market is in a tumultuous state, with pricing very soft for all but the most catastrophic coverage. As revenue thins, expense concerns rise. Leaders cite inefficiencies in technology and product delivery both within and across firms. Coupled with this internal change, customer demands and expectations for value and service continue to evolve. The senior managers expressed genuine concern for customer-perceived quality and value, as well as the need to better understand and measure it.

1.2.7 Customer Satisfaction in 7 Steps It's a well-known fact that no business can exist without customers. In the business of Website design, it's important to work closely with your customers to make sure the site or system you create for them is as close to their requirements as you can manage. Because it's critical that you form a close working relationship with your client, customer service is of vital importance. What follows are a selection of tips that will make your clients feel valued, wanted and loved. 1. Encourage Face-to-Face Dealings

This is the most daunting and downright scary part of interacting with a customer. If you're not used to this sort of thing it can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience. Rest assured, though, it does get easier over time. It's important to meet your customers face to face at least once or even twice during the course of a project. My experience has shown that a client finds it easier to relate to and work with someone they've actually met in person, rather than a voice on the phone or someone typing into an email or messenger program. When you do meet them, be calm, confident and above all, take time to ask them what they need. I believe that if a potential client spends over half the meeting doing the talking, you're well on your way to a sale. 2. Respond to Messages Promptly & Keep Your Clients Informed

This goes without saying really. We all know how annoying it is to wait days for a response to an email or phone call. It might not always be practical to deal with all customers' queries within the space of a few hours.

3. Be Friendly and Approachable A fellow Site Pointer once told me that you can hear a smile through the phone. This is very true. It's very important to be friendly, courteous and to make your clients feel like you're their friend and you're there to help them out. There will be times when you want to beat your clients over the head repeatedly with a blunt object - it happens to all of us. It's vital that you keep a clear head, respond to your clients' wishes as best you can, and at all times remain polite and courteous.

4. Have a Clearly Defined Customer Service Policy

This may not be too important when you're just starting out, but a clearly defined customer service policy is going to save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. If a customer has a problem, what should they do? If the first option doesn't work, then what? Should they contact different people forbilling and technical enquiries? If they're not satisfied with any aspect of your customer service, whom should they tell? There's nothing more annoying for a client than being passed from person to person, or not knowing who to turn to. Making sure they know exactly what to do at each stage of their enquiry should be of utmost importance. So make sure your customer service policy is present on your site -- and anywhere else it may be useful.

5. Attention to Detail (also known as 'The Little Niceties') Have you ever received a Happy Birthday email or card from a company you were a client of? Have you ever had a personalized sign-up confirmation email for a service that you could tell was typed from scratch? These little niceties can be time consuming and aren't always cost effective, but remember to do them. Even if it's as small as sending a Happy Holidays email to all your customers, it's something. It shows you care; it shows there are real people on the other end of that screen or telephone; and most importantly, it makes the customer feel welcomed, wanted and valued. 6. Anticipate Your Client's Needs & Go Out Of Your Way to Help Them Out

Sometimes this is easier said than done! However, achieving this supreme level of understanding with your clients will do wonders for your working relationship. Take this as an example: you're working on the front-end for your client's exciting new ecommerce endeavor. You have all the images, originals and files backed up on your desktop

computer and the site is going really well. During a meeting with your client he/she happens to mention a hard-copy brochure their internal marketing people are developing. As if by magic, a couple of weeks later a CD-ROM arrives on their doorstep complete with highresolution versions of all the images you've used on the site. A note accompanies it, which reads: "Hi, you mentioned a hard-copy brochure you were working on and I wanted to provide you with large-scale copies of the graphics I've used on the site. Hopefully you'll be able to make use of some in your brochure."

7. Honor Your Promises It's possible this is the most important point in this article. The simple message: when you promise something, deliver. The most common example here is project delivery dates.

Conclusion

Customer service, like any aspect of business, is a practiced art that takes time and effort to master. All you need to do to achieve this is to stop and switch roles with the customer. What would you want from your business if you were the client? How would you want to be treated? Treat your customers like your friends and they'll always comeback.

INTRODUCTION

One thing that we have in common is that we all are Consumers. In Fact everybody in this world is a consumer. Every day of our life we are buying and consuming an incredible variety of goods and services. However, we all have different tastes, likes, dislikes, and adopt different behavior patterns while making purchase decisions.

The term Consumer Behavior refers to the Behavior that Consumers display in searching for purchasing using evaluation and disposing in searching for purchasing using evaluating and disposing of products and services that they exact will satisfy of how individuals make decisions to send their available resources (time, money and effort) on consumption related items. It includes the study of What they buy, Why they buy, When they buy it, Where they buy it, how often they by it and how often they use it.

Customer Satisfaction Articles from Marketing Profs (Feb2006) As competition continues to increase, businesses are forced to find new and innovative ways of creating and keeping new customers. Loyalty means profitability. Take the first step toward developing positive relationships with your customers by allowing us to share our experience and knowledge about the art of customer satisfaction with you. We have accumulated customer satisfaction articles and other relevant articles into an easily navigated database which is readily available whenever you need a fresh perspective.

1. Encourage Face-to-Face Dealings This is the most daunting and downright scary part of interacting with a customer. If you're not used to this sort of thing it can be a pretty nerve-wracking experience. Rest assured, though, it does get easier over time. It's important to meet your customers face to face at least once or even twice during the course of a project.

My experience has shown that a client finds it easier to relate to and work with someone they've actually met in person, rather than a voice on the phone or someone typing into an email or messenger program. When you do meet them, be calm, confident and above all, take time to ask them what they need. I believe that if a potential client spends over half the meeting doing the talking, you're well on your way to a sale.

2. Respond to Messages Promptly & Keep Your Clients Informed This goes without saying really. We all know how annoying it is to wait days for a response to an email or phone call. It might not always be practical to deal with all customers' queries within the space of a few hours,

but at least email or call them back and let them know you've received their message and you'll contact them about it as soon as possible. Even if you're not able to solve a problem right away, let the customer know you're working on it.

3. Be Friendly and Approachable A fellow Site Pointer once told me that you can hear a smile through the phone. This is very true. It's very important to be friendly, courteous and to make your clients feel like you're their friend and you're there to help them out. There will be times when you want to beat your clients over the head repeatedly with a blunt object - it happens to all of us. It's vital that you keep a clear head, respond to your clients' wishes as best you can, and at all times remain polite and courteous.

4. Have a Clearly-Defined Customer Service Policy This may not be too important when you're just starting out, but a clearly defined customer service policy is going to save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. If a customer has a problem, what should they do? If the first option doesn't work, then what? Should they

contact different people for billing and technical enquiries? If they're not satisfied with any aspect of your customer service, who should they tell? There's nothing more annoying for a client than being passed from person to person, or not knowing who to turn to. Making sure they know exactly what to do at each stage of their enquiry should be of utmost importance. So make sure your customer service policy is present on your site -- and anywhere else it may be useful.

5. Attention to Detail (also known as 'The Little Niceties') Have you ever received a Happy Birthday email or card from a company you were a client of? Have you ever had a personalized sign-up confirmation email for a service that you could tell was typed from scratch? These little niceties can be time consuming and aren't always cost effective, but remember to do them. Even if it's as small as sending a Happy Holidays email to all your customers, it's something. It shows you care; it shows there are real people on the other end of that screen or telephone; and most importantly, it makes the customer feel welcomed, wanted and valued.

6. Anticipate Your Client's Needs & Go Out Of Your Way to Help Them Out Sometimes this is easier said than done! However, achieving this supreme level of understanding with your clients will do wonders for your working relationship. Take this as an example: you're working on the front-end for your client's exciting new ecommerce endeavor. You have all the images, originals and files backed up on your desktop computer and the site is going really well. During a meeting with your client he/she happens to mention a hard-copy brochure their internal marketing people are developing. As if by magic, a couple of weeks later a CD-ROM arrives on their doorstep complete with high resolution versions of all the images you've used on the site. A note accompanies it which reads:

"Hi, you mentioned a hard-copy brochure you were working on and I wanted to provide you with large-scale copies of the graphics I've used on the site. Hopefully you'll be able to make use of some in your brochure." Your client is heartily impressed, and remarks to his colleagues and friends how very helpful and considerate his Web designers are. Meanwhile, in your office, you lay back in your chair drinking your 7th cup of coffee that morning, safe in the knowledge this happy customer will send several referrals your way.

7. Honour Your Promises It's possible this is the most important point in this article. The simple message: when you promise something, deliver. The most common example here is project delivery dates. Clients don't like to be disappointed. Sometimes, something may not get done, or you might miss a deadline through no fault of your own. Projects can be late, technology can fail and sub-contractors don't always deliver on time. In this case a quick apology and assurance it'll be ready ASAP wouldn't go amiss.

Conclusion Customer service, like any aspect of business, is a practiced art that takes time and effort to master. All you need to do to achieve this is to stop and switch roles with the customer. What would you want from your business if you were the client? How would you want to be treated? Treat your customers like your friends and they'll always come back.

Customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction, a business term, is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. It is seen as a key performance indicator within business and is part of the four perspectives of a Balanced Scorecard.

In a competitive marketplace where businesses compete for customers, customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator and increasingly has become a key element of business strategy. There is a substantial body of empirical literature that establishes the benefits of customer satisfaction for firms.

Measuring customer satisfaction Organizations are increasingly interested in retaining existing customers while targeting noncustomers; measuring customer satisfaction provides an indication of how successful the organization is at providing products and/or services to the marketplace.

Customer satisfaction is an ambiguous and abstract concept and the actual manifestation of the state of satisfaction will vary from person to person and product/service to product/service. The state of satisfaction depends on a number of both psychological and physical variables which correlate with satisfaction behaviors such as return and recommend rate. The level of satisfaction can also vary depending on other options the customer may have and other products against which the customer can compare the organization's products.

Methodologies The University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is the scientific standard of customer satisfaction. Academic research has shown that the national ACSI score is a strong predictor of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, and an even stronger predictor of Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) growth. On the microeconomic level, research has shown that ACSI data predicts stock market performance, both for market indices and for individually traded companies. Increasing ACSI scores has been shown to predict loyalty, word-of-mouth recommendations, and purchase behavior. The ACSI measures customer satisfaction annually for more than 200 companies in 43 industries and 10 economic sectors. In addition to quarterly reports, the ACSI methodology can be applied to

private sector companies and government agencies in order to improve loyalty and purchase intent. Two companies have been licensed to apply the methodology of the ACSI for both the private and public sector: CFI Group, Inc.applies the methodology of the ACSI offline, and Foresee Results applies the ACSI to websites and other online initiatives. The Net Promoter score is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research. Companies obtain their Net Promoter Score by asking customers a single question (usually, "How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?"). Based on their responses, customers can be categorized into one of three groups: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. In the net promoter framework, Promoters are viewed as valuable assets that drive profitable growth because of their repeat/increased purchases, longevity and referrals, while Detractors are seen as liabilities that destroy profitable growth because of their complaints, reduced purchases/defection and negative word-of-mouth. Companies calculate their Net Promoter Score by subtracting their % Detractors from their % Promoters.

SERVQUAL or RATER is a service-quality framework that has been incorporated into customer-satisfaction surveys (e.g., the revised Norwegian Customer Satisfaction Barometer) to indicate the gap between customer expectations and experience. J.D. Power and Associates is another measure of customer satisfaction, known for its top-box approach and automotive industry rankings. J.D. Power and Associates' marketing research consists primarily of consumer surveys and is publicly known for the value of its product awards. Other research and consulting firms have customer satisfaction solutions as well. These include A.T. Kearney's Customer Satisfaction Audit process, which incorporates the Stages of Excellence framework and which helps define a companys status against eight critically identified dimensions.

Customer Satisfaction a Critical Component of Profitability Exceptional customer service results in greater customer retention, which in turn results in higher profitability. Customer loyalty is a major contributor to sustainable profit growth. To achieve success, you must make superior service second nature of your organization. A seamless integration of all components in the service-profit chain employee satisfaction, value creation, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profit and growth links all the critical dynamics of top customer service. Sadly, mature companies often forget or forsake the thing that made them successful in the first place: a customer-centric business model. They lose focus on the customer and start focusing on the bottom line and quarterly results. They look for ways to cut costs or increase revenues, often at the expense of the customer. They forget that satisfying customer needs and continuous value innovation is the only path to sustainable growth. This creates opportunities for new, smaller companies to emulate and improve upon what made their bigger competitors successful in the first place and steal their customers.

Customer Expectations Customer is defined as anyone who receives that which is produced by the individual or organization that has value. Customer expectations are continuously increasing. Brand loyalty is a thing of the past. Customers seek out products and producers that are best able to satisfy their requirements. A product does not need to be rated highest by customers on all dimensions, only on those they think are important.

Kaizen Mindset

Customer-driven strategy for improvement any management activity should

eventually lead to increased customer satisfaction... More

Canon Production System (CPS) The Canon Production System (CPS) is about: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Environmentally-conscious manufacturing and logistics Quality-oriented methods Lower costs Shorter deadlines All aim for maximum customer satisfaction.

Customers for Life By: Brian Tracy The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer. If a business successfully creates and keeps customers in a cost-effective way, it will make a profit while continuing to survive and thrive. If, for any reason, a business fails to attract or sustain a sufficient number of customers, it will experience losses. Too many losses will lead to the demise of the enterprise. According to Dun and Bradstreet, the single, most important reason for the failure of businesses in America is lack of sales. And, of course, this refers to resales as well as initial sales. So your companys job is to create and keep a customer, and your job is exactly the same. Remember, no matter what your official title is, you are a salesperson for yourself and your company...

Customer Satisfaction Illusion and Trap Today, "it would be difficult to find a company that doesn't proudly claim to be a customeroriented, customer-focused, or even-customer driven enterprise. But look closer at how these companies put their assertions into practice, and often you discover an array of notions and assumptions that range from superficial and incomplete to misguided."3 Some examples of customer satisfaction illusion include: believing that by conducting market surveys and focus

groups you know all there is to know about your customers believing that investing in awareness programs for employees and putting customers'

pictures on the cover of your annual report is enough to achieve customer satisfaction believing that the job of CEO is done by giving his or her direct phone number to

some valued customers All these approaches are well intentioned, but "all of them offer, at best, partial solutions to their customer satisfaction, and all, as a result, fall short."3 There is nothing wrong with the notion of customer satisfaction per se. "The problem comes with its pursuit, which if fraught with peril. Most plans to improve customer satisfaction stand on two shaky and dangerous assumptions." What they create is an illusion the customer satisfaction trap. Too often, measurements of customer satisfaction are misleading they tell you very little about where you are, and they can't show you where to go.

Process-managed Enterprise A process-managed enterprise supports, empowers and energizes employees, encourages their initiative, enables and allows its people to perform process work. "Process work is work that is focused on the customer, work that is directed toward achieving results rather than being an end in itself, work that follows a disciplined and repeatable design. Process work is work that delivers the high-level of performance that customers now demand."6... More

Benefits of Business Process Management The payoffs of process mastery can be breathtaking. Costs melt away, quality goes through the roof, and time spans shrink to a fraction of what they were. In 1999 Hammer and Company6 surveyed dozens of companies that had adopted the process approach to work and business. In order fulfilment, cycle times had typically decreased

by 60% to 90% "Perfect orders" (those delivered on time, with no mistakes) had increased by 25%

These improvements in process performance paid off in the critical enterprise currencies of customer satisfaction, customer retention, and corporate profits...

Customer Satisfaction is Paramount Customer Satisfaction How important are your customers to you? I have had a couple of my readers on my Dive site email me saying how they had contacted a particular Dive shop that I recommended, only to get a blunt negative response. You see they rang the shop to get more information E mailed to them as they were too busy to get in for themselves. One of these gentlemen was going to spend in excess of $3000.00 and to get the response that he did was very off putting, not to mention making me ending up looking a bit stupid for the Recommendation. This annoys me no end as I hear how tight and how hard some shops have had it over the winter period only to be treated like this really makes me start to wonder. Here are a few questions that I would like to put forward to the Dive Shops of New Zealand. How important are your customers to you? Would you not do your best to provide info that could lead to a repeat customer?

How many shops would not email information to a potential customer? Are your customers only important to you when you are not busy? Do you think summers coming so no worries now? Why complain about how slow things are then not trying to do your best to please a customer?

My firm belief is to build solid relationships, friendships and trust. Once you have these key factors in place and maintain a good rapport both with customers and businesses, will you be able to make small profits along the way.

99.99% of the Dive Shops and Charter operators in NZ I am sure will do their best to look after customers or potential customers within reason. But the above in my personal opinion is atrocious. Hopefully this would have been a miscommunication on both parties.